The BBC reports that the High Court states that the Government needs Parliament’s permission to trigger the EU’s Article 50 Brexit process. The article is silent on whether Parliament has to express its will as a Law or joint house resolution; I’ll leave the last word to others more qualified, but I don’t think there is any other way to undo previous Parliamentary dispositions other than to pass a new law, which involves four readings and a committee stage in the Commons and the same in the Lords and potentially whatever we call the Conference process to resolve disagreements between the Houses.
A government spokesman (sic) stated they plan to appeal, and they probably should, issues of this importance shouldn’t be settled by lower courts.
The same spokesman said: “The country voted to leave the European Union in a referendum approved by Act of Parliament. And the government is determined to respect the result of the referendum. We will appeal this judgement.”
They seem to have not noticed that the whole point of the court case, and let’s face it the English Civil War, is that the Royal Prerogative cannot usurp Parliament and neither can a Referendum, particularly one established with no delegated authority. The last Parliament could have stated that the Referendum would be our constitutional decision to leave and empowered the referendum as the decision to trigger Article 50 notice, but it didn’t.
The reaction by the Brexiteer trollls would be amusing if not fundamentally fascist. Governments cannot over rule Parliaments! Anywhere and issuing an Article 50 notice would have been that because Parliament has said we are in the EU. Newsthump summarises the position in an article entitled, “Man who demanded sovereignty of parliament outraged by sovereignty of parliament”
And here’s Farage, “I worry that a betrayal may be near at hand. ….. I now fear that every attempt will be made to block or delay the triggering of Article 50. If this is so, they have no idea of the level of public anger they will provoke.”
More subliminal revolutionary rubbish. Not so sure that this remains the right side of “Non Violent Extremism”, actually it does, but he and his supporters are not always so careful. Someone should interview him on the subject later of an evening.
Parliament has the right and duty to scrutinise the Brexit negotiations and if it deems the terms to be contrary to their individual mandates or to the national interest, they have the right and duty to vote to withdraw the Article 50 notice, with or without a 2nd referendum. Each day that passes from 23rd June 2016, the value of advisory mandate from the referendum corrodes.
And that is Labour Conference policy; to negotiate the best Brexit terms, without diminishing the rights of EU citizens living here, and then to obtain a 2nd mandate to confirm the acceptability of the proposed deal.
Much humour has been expressed at the Brexiteers dismay at the ruling with people pointing out the Court is ensuring that Parliamentary Sovereignty is being returned to Parliament. The humour is good value but one of the reasons that Remain lost is that it failed to state that Parliamentary Sovereignty is no longer fit for purpose.
Human Rights are Universal
Modern Politics requires a basic law based on Universal Human Rights. Human Rights Law defends everyone against oppressive government; our Parliament is controlled by the Government and can pass any law. The EU Treaties are the only legal constraint on its behaviour. We should welcome the European Union’s Fundamental Charter of Rights, its independent and multi-national judiciary, we need the help of jurors and jurisprudence forged in the resistance and recovery from fascism and Stalinism. Our constitution is no longer a protection against an oppressive government. The universality of human rights, meaning that they belong to all humans is also the end of nationality. Governments have a duty to protect the rights of non-citizen residents and we have a duty to protect our neighbours!
La lutte continue
This sort of articles get a series of trolling comments, telling Remainers to get over it and we lost. That’s not how democracy and human rights work. Here’s Tom Pride explaining how he didn’t change his mind over Section 28 and promising not to change his mind and submit to populist ignorance. Me neither!
And here’s Farage again, promising that if he lost by a 52 – 48 margin he wouldn’t have gone away
This article was originally publshed on blogs.davelevy.info, can be viewed at http://wp.me/p7KCT7-17Z and contains hyperlinks, including to the BBC article, and to the Court’s rulings home page.
The featured image is from Flickr, R/DV/RS CC 2008 BY